Thursday, November 19, 2009

Goals List- #4 (have Peyton explain finances)

Well, it is WAY past time for an update on one of my goals (remember, one of the goals is to blog about each goal?). So....

I picked #4, which is:
Have Peyton explain our finances to me

This is one of those goals that you can't just mark off "done it" each day. It's more fluid. So that makes it rather hard to really keep up with how well I am doing with it. But here's a general evaluation.....

Understanding of Our Financial Goals- Satisfactory
Peyton is very motivated to be debt free--as in I think Ms. Denise played a trick on Mr. Randy and Dave Ramsey is Peyton's real father. I understand this and do my best to be very supportive, even when it means sacrificing some of the things I want. I didn't really thing it was a big deal, but over the course of the year it has become more and more important to me, as well. In the not to distant future, we will have everything but our house (cars, student loans, ect.) paid off. And we do NOT accumulate consumer debt....it is very important to us to pay off our credit card each month. In addition to our short term goal of being debt free, we have several short and long term goals, which incude saving for our childrens' college/wedding, our retirement, and other dreams we have and giving money to causes we believe in.

Understanding of Investments- Poor
I suffer so much in this area that I hardly have anything worthwhile to contribute. But we have people who handle our investments (and my head nearly explodes when Peyton makes me go see them with him).

Understanding of Living Expenses and Budgeting- Satisfactory
This is one area that I've grown alot. We use a program called Mint to keep up with our budget. It's really user friendly and simpler to learn that Quicken (in my opinion). Theoretically, Peyton has handed over the responsibilities of keeping up with our budget over to me (because I'm very organized and I like things like that and because I'm here and able to do it more often). But if I get to far behind and turn into a huge stressed out mess (happens frequently), he catches us up. I'm also really anal about saving receipts; I just really like to have a breakdown of where our money goes.

Understanding of Money Saving Techniques- Fair
I so want to be a "couponer". I get overwhelmed by it and don't know where to start, though. If any of y'all do it, send your tips my way (as well as ANY OTHER MONEY SAVING TIPS...all ears, friends!). I think I need to get a book/find a website and just really research it from the beginning. I do try to do some things to save us money, though. As far as groceries, I have made concessions about the things I can tolerate being generic. Depending on what it is/what's in season, making our own baby food is a huge money saver. For example, sweet potatoes and bananas can cut your spending up to six times. Apples, however, are going to be more expensive if you buy them fresh than just buying the baby food. We started buying AP the big jar of NO SUGAR ADDED applesauce. Not as convenient, but the savings are huge. I used to make my own laundry detergent and it does save some money, but in the end it wasn't enough to justify the time and energy to me. Cloth diapers have definitely produced substatial savings. I also buy a lot of Annie's clothes and toys used off of Ebay or at consignment shops and when I don't I look for great deals. We try really hard to stay within a pre-determined eating out budget. And, we drive reasonable cars and live in a house that is below our means (Peyton reminds me often of the blessing that it is to actually be home owners). I feel like I've really grown in this area. In college, I was not a wise financial steward. My parents gave me more money than I really needed and my overdrafts were still not infrequent. So, I feel proud of my progress in this category.

I really think that's all. Again, I'd love to hear any tips for saving money. We are always up for finding new tricks!

1 comment:

Alison said...

I started "couponing" at Walgreen's with their "register rewards," and I'm obsessed. My last bill went from $50.23 to $23.47 and got $5 back :-)